Leeds patients taking control of mental and physical health

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A TRAILBLAZING project to help empower patients to take control of their own mental and physical wellbeing is being launched in west Leeds next month.

BARCA-Leeds, a Bramley-based organisation providing a variety of community services to vulnerable people, has been chosen by local NHS bosses to spearhead the new pilot Patient Empowerment Project, working with GP practices and community groups to help local people in need of support.

Charities Leeds Mind, Better Leeds Communities and Touchstone will work with BARCA on the 12-month partnership, which will see them engaging with 38 GP surgeries in west Leeds. The ultimate aim is to make it easier for patients to access voluntary services to help improve their health and wellbeing.

Dr Mark Fuller, clinical lead for public health with the NHS Leeds West CCG (clinical commissioning group), said: “This is fantastic news for patients in west Leeds and will be a huge benefit to those who are feeling isolated or alone in their problems.

“Connecting up local community solutions with health professionals will provide the best possible approach to help people to manage their health issues.

“The West Leeds PEP has been developed in response to a national drive to modernise health services, with supported self management being one of the core principles. NHS Leeds West CCG and our community partners will be leading by example.”

Recent research from the King’s Fund showed that patients who are supported to self manage their conditions tend to cope better with any existing health conditions they may have. Visit www.selfcareforum.org/ for more details.

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